Vision Pro a "new era of computing" says Apple design head

The Vision Pro will “redefine how we connect and create” says Apple vice president of human interface design Alan Dye, as its operating system wins top honour at the D&AD Awards.

Apple was recognised with a Black Pencil – the D&AD Awards highest accolade – for its visionOS operating system, which powers the recently launched Vision Pro mixed-reality headset.

“At Apple, design plays such a central role in defining not only how our products look, but most critically, how they work,” Dye told Dezeen.

Our goal has always been to create intuitive user experiences that blur the lines between hardware and software and reimagine how users interact with technology,” he continued. “VisionOS is a powerful example of these principles in action.”

visionOS operating system for Vision Pro
The Vision Pro’s visionOS operating system won a Black Pencil at the D&AD Awards

Described by the brand as a “spatial computer”, the Vision Pro’s operating system and three-dimensional interface was created specifically for the headset. It allows users to navigate using a combination of eye, head and hand movements.

The interface was designed so that it can appear within the physical world and respond to natural light levels and shadows, with applications such as web browsers appearing to float three-dimensionally wherever the user looks.

“Designed from the ground up, it features an entirely new interface, driven by your eyes, hands and voice, all designed to deliver spatial experiences that seamlessly blend digital content with the physical world,” explained Dye.

“This new era of computing will redefine how we connect and create, and this award is a testament to the tight integration and care the design studio and engineering teams at Apple have invested into crafting a truly magical experience.”

visionOS operating system for Vision Pro
The interface appears to float within the user’s surroundings

The Vision Pro, which is Apple’s first mixed-reality headset, was launched earlier this year. The headset contains two micro-OLED displays positioned in front of the eyes.

The interface displays Apps combined with elements of the surrounding room, which are captured by a variety of sensors and cameras enclosed under laminated glass at the front of the headset to create a mixed-reality experience. The outside world can be completely removed for a full virtual reality view.

The operating system received one of four Black Pencils awarded at this year’s awards. The number of Black Pencils presented each year varies, with some years none awarded.

The award means that the Vision Pro joins some of Apple’s best-known products as a winner of a Black Pencil at the D&AD Awards. Previous Apple products that have won include the iPad in 2011, Apple website in 2010, iPhone and iMac 2008, iPad in 2002, Pro Mouse in 2001, Cinema Display in 2000 and iMac in 1999.

“We are honored that visionOS has been awarded the prestigious D&AD Black Pencil for Digital Design,” added Dye.

In 2012, D&AD named Apple the best design studio and best brand of the past 50 years at an event that marked the 50th anniversary of the award.

The imagery is courtesy of Apple.

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